Back in June I purchased a groupon. Prior to purchasing the groupon I called to inquire about whether a baby can go on the boat. We had 4 adults and a baby, so I was instructed to purchase the groupon for 4 and the baby was free. We went on the boat and were met by a very nice Capt. Laurie (I think). We left the dock and within about 15 minutes we were stuck on a sandbar. We remained stuck on the sandbar for over an hour! Capt. Laurie did her best to entertain everyone and keep everyone calm, she called the tow boat, and eventually got us off the sandbar. We spent over half the tour in one spot! She asked if we wanted to extend the tour, but some people had other plans, so we motored a little down the intercoastal, saw some dolphins and then headed back to the dock. She explained that our trip would be refunded or we could reschedule for another trip. Yes, the tour was not as expected, but it was nice that she tried to right her wrong and she was very polite about it all. I know they were a new business and I didn't want to ask for a refund, we would use it eventually! I received a call from Capt. Brooks, explained everything and he also said that we could schedule another trip.
I purchased the trip for my parents and thought I would wait for them to come back in town to schedule again. In the meantime, "Jax Water Tours" moved to St. Augustine. When my parents were scheduled to come back in town, I checked the availability and the trips were all booked. They then added another tour, "Night of Lights". I called the customer service number and is specifically said, "all information is on the website", and there was no ability to leave a message. The website is very poorly organized, prices, times, and descriptions are not readily available. I submitted an inquiry from the website to get more infomration and whether we can use our "credit" from the previouis trip. He replied back with "everything is on the website". Well, if everything was easily found on the website, I wouldn't be asking! The e-mails went back and forth a few times with very short and abrubt answers. It was agreed that I would pay $10 more per person to transfer the eco-tour to the night of lights tour. BUT, then there was another question about the baby. I called and inquired about the baby prior to purchasing the groupon and there were no problems on the initial tour. THEN, my mom purchased another groupon and there was another problem with the baby and it was confirmed that the baby is free, we just had to let him know she was there. NOW, Capt. Brooks is telling us that is incorrect and we need to pay $49 for the baby. The e-mails went back and forth with short rude answers and then he just decided to ignore me and not respond.
Capt. Brooks should NOT be the owner of a business. He does not have the customer service skills to effectively deal with issue's that inevitably come up. If he would have just politely answered that due to the confusion that he would split the difference and the baby would be half price, I would have probably agreed. But instead, he was argumentative. I have been in the customer service business myself for much of my life and no, I don't always believe that the customer is always right, BUT I do believe that you have to be polite, calm, understanding, and compromising. Capt. Brooks has none of those traits.
We have now have 2 bad experiences with Jax Water Tours. They may be the #1 jacksonville tour business, but it must be due to lack of other options. Looking at the reviews, it appears that the good reviews were months ago. Perhaps there has been some changes in their operations recently, because there are many negative reviews in the last month or two.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.